Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Course Creation and Project Based Learning

This summer has felt like a blur! I'm sure I'm not the only teacher who is feeling that this year. I was up to something really exciting this summer though. I spent the summer writing a brand new course: Graphic Design! I've written and edited courses before on painting and drawing several times, both for summer school and semester schedules. This project however was much larger due to it being newer subject matter for me and I was writing it from scratch. I was also given free reign on what technology pieces I would like to teach in the course, including the entire Adobe Creative Suite, so I was feeling both incredibly lucky and overwhelmed with choice.

I started with a mind map of what exactly I could cover in a course that would be the only level of graphic design we are currently offering at my school. I found a wealth of resources online and also consulted the library (where I checked out so many books I could barely carry them out). Once I had a plan, looked at the Ohio Visual Arts Standards and started thinking about assessments.

For this course, authentic assessment and project based learning were goals of mine because of the career-based subject matter of the course. So, I created a graphic design “company” and framed the course around my students being a team of designers working for our clients and myself as the team leader.

The beginning of any online or traditional course can benefit from a “Getting to Know You” activity of some sort. This course is a bit special because I started students with a job application for the design company.

Each assignment in the course describes a story of the client who has approached the company and what they need from the team of designers. I'm excited to see how students respond to this ongoing theme of on the job training and real world situations. More to come!